- (Photo: Reuters/Fred Prouser)
Lindsey Vonn suffered a blow both to her emotions and her knee after being forced to pull out of the Sochi Olympics this week.
The professional downhill skiing champ is "devastated" to confirm that she will not be competing, and released a statement confirming the news on Tuesday.
"Lindsey Vonn will be unable to compete in the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Sochi," her rep said in the statement, according to Us Weekly.
The rep went on to cite a crash Vonn had in France when her knee gave out during a downhill race in France on Dec. 21.
"After the incident in Val D'Isere, an MRI showed an MCL sprain, which coupled with the torn ACL, has made it impossible to stabilize her knee and be ready to safely ski again next month."
Furthermore, Vonn must undergo knee surgery rather than head to Russia next month.
"She will have knee surgery shortly and is expected to make a full recovery in time for the 2014/15 World Cup season and the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships in Vail-Beaver Creek," the rep said.
The Sochi Winter Olympics take place on Feb. 7 to the 23rd in Sochi, Russia.
Vonn posted her own message about the injury on Facebook on Tuesday, Jan. 7.
"I am devastated to announce that I will not be able to compete in Sochi," she wrote. "I did everything I possibly could to somehow get strong enough to overcome having no ACL but the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level."
Despite her disappointment, Vonn went on to call on the silver lining of the situation- that one of her teammates can now compete in her place.
"Thank you all so much for all the love and support," she concluded. "I will be cheering for all of the Olympians and especially team USA! XO Lindsey."
Vonn is a four-time overall World Cup champion who also won a gold medal in downhill at the 2010 Winter Olympics. She has been recovering after reconstructive surgery and rehab which followed a violent ski crash caused two torn ligaments in her right knee at the world championships in Schladming last February.
The 29-year-old athlete officially returned to racing in December- a full 10 months after her knee injury.